A&E is often the front door for people facing homelessness to access healthcare, and it is vital that staff can respond to their needs.

Developed by Pathway in partnership with Change Communication, the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, plus Homeless Link and Groundswell with whom Pathway form the Homeless Health Consortium, this course provides an overview of the challenges and opportunities which can present when people experiencing homelessness attend Emergency Departments. 

These include issues of:

  • self-discharge
  • safeguarding around self-neglect 
  • mental capacity
  • actions to connect patients to further services

In the video below, Pathway Expert-by-Experience Pete and Pathway Nursing Lead Sam Dorney-Smith talk about the key issues in improving care and how this course addresses them. Longer and shorter versions of the video are also available.

Adrian Boyle, President of the Royal College of Emergency Medicine, said: 

‘Looking after people experiencing homelessness can be very difficult for many emergency clinicians. This patient group frequently have serious illnesses and have sometimes dreadful experiences of healthcare.  This resource will be invaluable for equipping clinicians with useful knowledge to look after some of the most vulnerable people in our society.’

This course has been funded through the VCSE Health and Wellbeing Alliance, jointly managed and funded by Department of Health and Social Care, NHS England and UK Health Security Agency.